Bonnaroo Staff Favorites of 2012!

As your fellow Bonnaroovians, the festival’s staff has musical tastes that span this, that, the other and beyond. These are the ears behind the fest, people! Check out the artists that made them perk up this year… And tell us if you agree, disagree or think we missed anyone!

And for your listening pleasure, we have not one, but two accompanying playlists

YOUTUBE: HTTP://OW.LY/GGLNS 
SPOTIFY: BONNAROO’S BEST OF 2012!

Bonnaroo Staffer: @b_pntr

Top Albums

Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
Standout Track: Tesselate
“Groundbreaking, creative, unique, and covers a lot of sonic territory in one album”

Grimes – Visions
Standout Track: Oblivion
“Fresh, fun, original, genre-defying, grows on you with repeated listens”

Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes
“Complex, cerebral, meditative, imagine if be-bop musicians had laptops; No standout track. This is an album in the truest sense of the word"

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Rob D

Top Albums

Hot Chip – In Our Heads
“makes me wanna dance”

Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE
“makes me wanna slow dance”

The Lumineers – self-titled
“makes me wanna noodle”

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Robin M

Top Albums

Father John Misty – Fear Fun
Standout Track: Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings 

Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
Standout Track: Breezeblocks

Beach House – Bloom
Standout Track: Myth

St. Lucia – Self Titled
Standout Track: All Eyes On You

Hundred Waters – Hundred Waters LP
Standout Track: Thistle


Bonnaroo Staffer: Anonymous

Top Albums

Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
Standout Track: Thinkin Bout You
“One of the most intoxicating albums ever, period.”

Oddisee – People Hear what they See
Standout Track: The Need Superficial
“Progressive, intelligent hip-hop at its finest.”

Lana Del Rey – Born to Die
Standout Track: Dark Paradise
“Her voice is just pure butter that melts perfectly over the complex yet clean arrangements of each of her songs.”

Robert Glasper Experiment – Black Radio
Standout Track: Always Shine
“Jazz, hip-hop, and R&B with splash of soul, what more do you want… ridiculous special guests, yeah there is a ton of them too.”

Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d. city
Standout Track: Swimming Pools
“Kendrick has one of the cleanest deliveries in the game, couple that intricate beats and insightful lyrics make him a force to be reckoned with.”

Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits
Standout Track: Baby Get Worse
“I can’t help it, I am just a sucker for anything Britt Daniel does.“

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Evan

Top Albums

Sigur Ros – Valtari
Standout Track: Varúð

Dr. John – Locked Down
Standout Track: Getaway

Death Grips – The Money Store
Standout Track: Get Got

TheeSatisfaction – Awe Naturale
Standout Track: Earthseed

Deap Vally – Gonna Make My Own Money [EP]
Standout Track: Gonna Make My Own Money

Django Django – Django Django
Standout Track: Storm

Kendrick Lamar – The New West
Standout Track: The Recipe

Father John Misty – Fear Fun
Standout Track: Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings

Diplo – Express Yourself [EP]
Standout Track: Express Yourself

Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music
Standout Track: Big Beast

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Chris S

Top Albums

Wild Nothing – Nocturne
Standout Track: Paradise
“perfect ethereal pop”

Tame Impala – Lonerism
Standout Track: Mind Mischief
“love my groove and these guys establish it early and drive it home”

Sea Wolf – Old World Romance
Standout Track: Old Friend
“love this album and his songwriting…and this is one the many gems on the album”


Bonnaroo Staffer: Mo Wynne

Top Albums

Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
Standout Track: You Ain’t Alone
“Powerful, authentic and soulful - every song moves you. Huge fan since the first listen.”

Grimes – Visions
Standout Track: Oblivion
“Great album as a whole. Every track takes synth loops and electro-pop to new and interesting places. And the simple reason, it gets me moving.”

Of Monsters and Men – My Head Is An Animal
Standout Track: Mountain Sound
“Charming and wonderful. I love the spirit of every track, and any opportunity for a good sing-along.”


Bonnaroo Staffer: Oz

Top Albums

Lupe Fiasco – Food and Liquor 2
Standout Track: Lamborghini Angels
“Because of its depth, flow and hot beats”

Passion Pit – Gossamer
Standout Track: Mirrored Sea
“Because it’s audacious”

Ben Howard – Every Kingdom
Standout Track: The Wolves
“Because of the songwriting and unique acoustic guitar style”

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: @drewivycarter / the illllest

Top Albums

Graveyard – Lights Out
“Haven’t even listened to it but I know its awesome”

Cat Power – Sun
Standout Track: Manhattan
“Beautiful and different than any album she’s ever put out. Upbeat and in your face in a nice way.  Good for walking around with headphones in and daydreaming about parkouring off people’s faces while dancing from side to side”

Neil Young and Crazyhorse – Psychedelic Pill
Standout Track: Walk Like a Giant
“Neil sounds and plays like its still 1973. Man can really whistle.”

Best live show of 2012?
David Byrne and St. Vincent
“A choreographed display of all that is good in live music. 8 piece horns backing band. The whole show pieced together with synchronized marching that could make you weep.”

Standout Track: I Am An Ape – “Because you think he is gonna say masturbate”

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Kerry Black

Top Albums

Pig Destroyer – Book Burner
“Amazing and pulverizing, my neck is not a big fan.”

Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
“Everybody now.”

Tiny Victories – Those Of Us Are Still Alive EP
“On the more obscure tip but one of my most played this year.”

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Neal Cohen

Top Albums

Tame Impala – Lonerism
Standout Track: Elephant
“Front to back psych album. Put it on, let go”

Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan
Standout Track: Gun Has No Trigger
“Surprises every 20 seconds.  Seamless changes throughout without being too jarring”

Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself
Standout Track: Near Death Experience Experience
“This album pulled me back into the world of Mr. Bird.  Less of his sleepy dreamworld, more like surreal Appalachia with melodies that invade your head and emerge victorious!”

Tallest Man On Earth – There’s No Leaving Now
Standout Track: Revelation Blues
“Lilting fall morning music.”

Allah-Las – self-titled
Standout Track: Don’t You Forget It
“Wish you lived in the golden age of psych and garage rock? This album should ease your longing a teeny bit…”

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: SXGX

Top Albums

Andy Stott – Luxury Problems
Standout Track: Sleepless

Richard Skelton – Verse of Birds
Standout Track: Vessel

Usher – Climax
“Its just a track ( not an album ) but its the best track of they year.”

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Bryan Benson – Twitter: @bryantbenson

Top Albums

Father John Misty – Fear Fun
Standout Track: Nancy From Now On

Patrick Watson – Adventures In Your Own Backyard
Standout Track: Lighthouse

Grizzly Bear – Shields
Standout Track: Yet Again

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Caitlin Maloney

Top Albums

Gary Clark Jr. – Blak And Blu
Standout Track: Glitter Ain’t Gold
“This album, plain and simple, reminds me of everything that drew me to music as a child. Ripping guitar riffs, relatable lyrics relayed with a tinge of authentic rasp, and nod-your-head percussion beats make clear Gary Clark Jr’s genuine talent. The album is an homage to the blues greats and guitar legends along the lines of Buddy Guy and others, without feeling excessively retro."

Flume – self-titled
Standout Track: Star Eyes
“There’s a certain amount of respect to be had for artists who can take the electronic technology available in music today and apply it in ways alternative to the standard dance floor drops we’ve all grown to love or hate. This album is melodic and atmospheric, allowing room for space between the sounds rather than cramming as many beats as possible into every bar. Equally as useful for dancing as for drifting to sleep, I had this album on repeat for two weeks, easily.:

Brothers NYC - Volume 1
Standout Track: Real Long Way To Go
“Boot stomping’, whiskey slinging’, southern rock has somehow managed to make its way into the NYC music scene, and this record is a prime example. Comprised of yes, two brothers, and their best friends, this band is definitely one to see live – if you don’t mind having a little beer spilled on you, that is. So grab a leather jacket and let this album remind what good ole rock’n'roll used to be about.”

Haim – Forever EP
Standout Track: Forever
“This trio of sisters (and a drummer!) are gaining some serious momentum, and rightfully so – their infectious but genuine indie-pop communicates all the same every-girl sentiments as your favorite radio singsongs, but with unexpected melodies, random auxiliary percussion surprises, and a voice simultaneously raspy and honey-dripping. Think Meredith Brooks’ “Bitch” for the indie-rock generation. Definitely keep your eyes (or rather, ears) open for a full-length album in 2013.”

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Boone

Top Albums

Witchcraft – Legend
Standout Track: Flag of Fate
“The Swedes win at metal”

Deftones – Koi No Yokan
Standout Track: Entombed
“These guys don’t miss, ever.”

Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind
Standout Track: Coral Blue
“Controlled chaos at its finest.“

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Annie

Top Albums

Animal Collective – Centipede HZ
Standout Song: Monkey Riches
“Some people get it, some people don’t. Hope you are the former"

Trust – TRST
Standout Track: Sulk
“Ultimate goth song of the year. If you don’t automatically move to this then you better call for help, like yesterday”

Class Actress – Journal of Ardency
Standout Track: Someone Real
“Best song for anyone feeling slighted by an unrequited love! Bitter? psh”

Odd Future – The OF Tape Vol. 2
Standout Track: Oldie
“Just f’ing great. Earl Sweatshirt, BE MINE.”

Housse de Racket – Alesia
Standout Track: Aquarium
“THEY ARE AMAZING!”

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: BEM

Top Albums

Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal
Standout Track: Six Weeks
“Awesome summer time, windows down tunes”

Sharon Van Etten – Tramp
Standout Track: Ask
“Saw her live this spring and then couldn’t stop listening to the album for months, so good”

Shovels & Rope – O’ Be Joyful
Standout Track: Shank Hill St
“Their live show is one big dance party; I never want to miss them when they come in town. This duo is gonna blow up.

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: CB

Top Albums

Grimes – Visions
Standout Track: Oblivion
“Visions is the soundtrack of my feminine élan vital”

Animal Collective – Centipede Hz
Standout Track: Moonjock
“The soundtrack of my masculine élan vital”

Wild Belle –  It’s Too Late EP
Standout Track: Backslider
“Pure fun and feel good music, can’t wait for a full length”

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: NR

Top Albums

Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal
Standout Track: Dirty Paws

The Lighthouse and the Whaler – This Is An Adventure
Standout Track: Venice

Jack White – Blunderbuss
Standout Track: Love Interruption

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Hannah W.

Top Albums

Grizzly Bear – Shields
Standout Track: Speak in Rounds
“Love this dreamy track and the darkness of this new album – plus seeing them kick off their US album tour at the Tennessee Theatre wasn’t too shabby either!”

Jack White – Blunderbuss
Standout Track: Love Interruption
“This song is hilarious to me … yet completely understandable, in a way.”

MS MR – Candy Bar Creep Show
Standout Track: Bones
“I’m captivated by the single off of this cheeky band’s first EP  … can’t wait to hear more.”

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Jules

Top Albums

The Lumineers – self-titled
Standout Track: Ho Hey
“because any time I find myself on the corner of Canal & Bowery (which is surprisingly often), I think of that one line in the song and I smile :) ”

Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
Standout Track: Hold On
“because that chick can sing, man!”

Imagine Dragons – Night Visions
Standout Track: It’s Time
“The first time I heard it was when they played the acoustic version in our office and it was beautiful. A few weeks later I heard the album version in the trailer for The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Rick Farman

Top Albums

Sigur Ros – Valtari 

Bobby Womack – Bravest Man in the Universe

David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Alex M. @unpopster

Top Albums

Metz – Metz
“this album rocks hard”

Swans – The Seer
“this album makes me feel like the guy in ‘Altered States’ (look it up, kids)”

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend
“It’s Godspeed, ’nuff said!”

Favorite Song of 2012

Cloud Nothings – “Wasted Days”

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Paul Peck

Top Albums

Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city

Beach House – Bloom

Bob Dylan – Tempest

Neil Young – Psychedelic Pill

Tame Impala – Lonerism

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist

Nas – Life is Good

David Byrne and St. Vincent – Love This Giant

Jack White – Blunderbuss

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Molly

Top Albums

Mumford and Sons – Babel
“Cause I love their harmony.”

Fun. – Some Nights
“Cheesy I know.  Don’t judge!  But that Some Nights song puts me in a good mood.” 

Of Monsters and Men – My Head Is An Animal
“Good sound and although I don’t get to see many shows at our festivals-I saw these guys at Outside Lands and loved it.”

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Kat

Top Albums

Jesse Ware – Devotion
Standout Track: Wildest Moments

Alabama Shakes – Boys and Girls
Standout Track: Hold On

Solange – True
Standout Track: Losing You

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Julia S

Top Albums

Delicate Steve – Positive Force

Tame Impala – Lonerism

Ariel Pink – Mature Themes 

Grizzly Bear – Shields

Frankie Rose – Interstellar

Diiv – Oshin

Beach House – Bloom

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Suz

Top Albums

Alt-J – An Awesome Wave

Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits

Frank Ocean – channel orange

Poolside – Pacific Standard Time

Mumford and Sons – Babel

Of Monsters and Men – My Head Is An Animal

Jack White – Blunderbuss

Ty Segall Band – Slaughterhouse

Beach House – Bloom
The Lumineers – self-titled

Django Django – self-titled

 

Bonnaroo Staffer: Crowe

Top Albums

Susan Boyle – Standing Ovation
“This is a collection of great classics sung by the incomparable Susan Boyle. With the voice of an angel, she picks some of my favorite songs to cover on this album including duets with Michael Crawford and Donny Osmond, this one is perhaps the best of 2012”

One Direction- Take Me Home
“Although this is far and away the boys’ best album, it could only be second to Ms. Boyle. Their sophomore effort saw a more hard-edged, road-tested style of sugary-sweet, pop. Encouraging everyone to “get some,” Take Me Home is the group’s universal coming-of-age album.”

Taylor Swift- Red
“I may be a little biased since Taylor is dating Harry from One Direction, but I can honestly say this is one of the best albums of 2012. Taylor’s voice and style are undeniably original and honest. It’s unfortunate that Taylor has to go through so much heartbreak and anguish to write such classic albums. Undeniably one of Taylor’s best efforts to date.”